About veneers

A veneer is a thin moulding, custom-made from porcelain, which is bonded to the front surface of a tooth. Veneers are a quick and effective solution to stained, chipped, misshapen or crooked teeth.

They can also be used to cover gaps in teeth where orthodontic treatment may not be suitable.

Veneers are a cosmetic treatment. They cover only the front surface of the tooth and will mimic the size, shape and colour of your teeth, creating a very natural look.

A precise shade of porcelain can be chosen to give the right colour to improve a single discoloured tooth or to lighten your front teeth.

What are the pros and cons of veneers?


  • Whiter and more even teeth: Veneers can improve your smile’s appearance, giving you a more even and whiter smile.
  • A realistic, natural finish: Porcelain veneers mimic the light-reflecting qualities of teeth, providing a natural-looking result.
  • Durability: Veneers offer a long-lasting, cosmetic solution. They can last for over 10 years, if taken care of appropriately.
  • Strong and stain resistant: Porcelain veneers are more stain resistant and durable than composite bonding, for example, offering similar strength to a crown.


  • Permanent: In most cases, the enamel on the front of your teeth will need to be prepared (filed down) before having veneers placed. The enamel is the thin outer layer on a tooth’s surface. This means your teeth will be permanently altered.
  • Sensitivity: In some cases, patients can experience increased sensitivity after having veneers fitted.
  • Fragility: While porcelain veneers are very tough, they could break when exposed to strong impact, e.g., biting on hard foods and grinding your teeth. If this occurs, you’ll need to have any impacted veneers repaired or replaced.

How much do veneers cost?

The cost will vary depending on your individual needs, for example, how many veneers you need and what material is used. Composite veneers are another type of veneers, usually costing less than porcelain ones. Your dentist will explain your options, and any associated costs, following your initial consultation.

If you would like to spread the cost of your treatment, payment options are available at most Bupa practices*. Please ask your local practice for more details.

Whichever type of veneer you choose, you need to be sure they’re the right option for you. Your dentist can talk you through the pros and cons, and let you know if you’d be more suited to an alternative treatment.

How are veneers fitted?

Once you’ve had a consultation to ensure veneers are right for you, porcelain veneers are fitted in a three-step process:

Step 1. Your tooth is prepared to hold the veneer.

In most cases, your tooth or teeth will need to be filed down prior to having veneers placed. This involves removing a thin layer of the enamel of your teeth so the veneer can be attached. There are no nerves in the enamel, but your dentist can offer you dental sedation, to help you relax.

Step 2. An impression of your tooth is taken.

Your dentist will make an impression of your mouth using soft putty in a tray, or a 3D digital scanner. A temporary veneer may be fitted, which can be worn for up to a few weeks.

Step 3. The new veneer is attached.

Your veneer is attached using a strong dental glue, adjusted as necessary, then permanently secured.

After the procedure, your gums may feel a little sore. This is normal and will settle down after a few days of careful brushing.

If you’d like to learn more, speak to your local Bupa Dental Care dentist about veneers.

​​​​Can you have veneers with gum disease or receding gums?

If you have any form of gum disease or tooth decay, you’ll need to have treatment prior to having veneers placed. In your consultation, your dentist will use an X-ray to look out for any concerns and recommend next steps.

If you have receding gums, you may still be eligible for veneers. Your dentist will need to examine your mouth before making a decision. They may recommend gingival veneers, which are designed to cover the area of lost gum tissue.

How do I care for my veneers?

Veneers require the same care as your other teeth. This includes:

  • Brushing your teeth twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste
  • Flossing daily
  • Attending regular dental check-ups and hygienist appointments

Your dentist will be able to advise appropriate aftercare in detail, and you’ll be able to ask any questions.

What are the alternatives to veneers?

There are several alternative cosmetic treatments available. These include:

  • Composite bonding: Composite bonding involves applying resin to a tooth, to fill any minor chips and gaps, or improve discoloration. Bonding is a quick, non-invasive option for restoring your tooth’s natural shape and colour.
  • Teeth whitening: If you’d like to correct stained teeth, you could consider professional teeth whitening. Your dentist will advise whether this is the most suitable option for you.
  • Crowns: A crown is a tooth-shaped cap that’s placed over the entire visible portion of a tooth. It feels and functions just like teeth.
  • Orthodontics: Fixed or removable braces can be used to straighten misaligned teeth and close gaps. Virtually-invisible options are available.

It's important to consider all the options available to you. In an initial consultation, your dentist will be able to explain the different processes and advise which treatment best suits your individual needs.

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Bupa Dental Care is a trading name of Oasis Dental Care Limited. Registered in England and Wales No: 00478127. Registered office: Bupa Dental Care, Vantage Office Park, Old Gloucester Road, Hambrook, Bristol, United Kingdom BS16 1GW.

Oasis Dental Care Limited has a number of trading names including Bupa Dental Care. For a list of all our different trading names please follow this link.

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